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European Journal of Experimental Biology, 2013, 3(3):443-449

ISSN: 2248 –9215


A study on carbon stoks and CO2 uptake in natural pistachio-Amygdalus

forest research in Fars, Iran
RoustaTouba*1, Fallah Asghar2, Amirnejad Hamid2 and Bordbar S. Kazem3
Young research Club, Arsanjan Branch, Islamic Azad University, Arsanja, Iran
Sari Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources University, Mazandaran, Iran
Fars Agriculture and Natural Resources Researches Center, Iran


This study focused on estimatingof carbon sequestration and carbon stocksin the dry ecosystem of the Zagros Forest
in Iran. The study was done on Pistachio atlantica, Amygdalus scoparia and soil in the Firouzabad Forest.
Systematic_random sampling was done to determine numbers of Pistachioatlanticaand d.b.hwithina 2000 m2
areaand on Amygdalus scoparia within a 1000 m2area to determine classes for crown diameter. 30 plots of 1m2
were established under trees to calculate the organic carbon in leaf litter. Amount of C in these plants estimating by
ash method and amounts of soil organic carbon were calculated using the Walky-Black method in the
laboratory.The amount of carbon storage in soil and vegetation was 14.65 ton/ha. The amount of carbon
sequestration in the total forest stand was 137329.1 ton. The economic value of C sequestration was $418.46 (USD)
and $12.871 (USD) in each hectare for Pistachio atlantica and Amygdalus scoparia, respectively. The amount of C
sequestration and its economic value in the soil was 12.78 t/ha and $835.812 (USD) respectively. Thereforean
increase of C sequestration ina dry ecosystem will be beneficial in both economic and environmental terms.
Decision making for more efficient land use and conservation will be effective, on the economic value of forest
service resources that are in existence and are free. This site was located in the semi-aridregion of Iran. Research
on this arid site is pertinent because activities that cause C emissions are less thanother sites. So afforestation and
reforestation is suitable and beneficial in these regions.

Keywords: Amygdalus scoparia,Carbon Storage, Firuzabad Forest, Fars, Iran, Pistachio atlantica


Scientists have determined that global climate change is occurring as a result of increasing atmospheric
concentrations of green house gases (GHGs).The most dominant GHG from human activities is carbon dioxide
(CO2), both in terms of emissions and its potential to affect climate change [12]. Globally, agricultural activities and
deforestation account for an estimated 31% of anthropogenic GHG emissions [10]; livestock production alone
accounts for an estimated 18% [22]. Atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing at the rate of 0.4% per year and are
predicted to double during the 21st century. Implications of this increase are complex and not yet well understood
[7; 23]. Climate change may affect ecosystem productivity, allocation of aboveground versus belowground biomass
and microbial populations[9]. Therefore Carbon sequestration should be understood as a part of many policy options
in addressing global climate change.Carbon (C) storage in forest ecosystems involves numerous components
including biomass C and soil C content. In an ecosystem a C stock is large and in a dynamic equilibrium with its
environment. Because of the large areas involved, both regionally and globally, forest soil plays an important role in
the global C cycle [6, 9]. Managing carbon stocks within a landscape is key for mitigation of atmospheric
accumulation of GHGs and climate change. The cost of carbon dioxide absorption has been estimated at 0.12 $ ton

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RoustaTouba et al Euro. J. Exp. Bio., 2013, 3(3):443-449
per hectare and was 2.94 $ for 25 years[21]. Carbon sequestration in the northern forests of Iran was estimated at
2.41 tons in each hectare per year therefore its economic value was 2427 US$ [3]. The rate of carbon sequestration
in East Panama was 335 ton/ ha in a controlled forest; 145 ton/ha in traditional agroforestry and 46 ton/ha in pasture
(Kirby & et al., 2007).Potential CO2-e above base line sequestration was determined for two forest sites on
commercial eucalyptus plantations in northern Brazil (Bahia). Mean values were $8.16 (USD) and $7.19 (USD) for
average and high site indexes, respectively. Results showed that carbon supply was more cost-efficient in highly
productive sites [14]. Carbon sequestration in Bamu National Park, obtained 43 ton/ha and with a total value of
$8600 (USD) [15]. The cost of carbon emission in Zagros forests of Iran was calculated as $4 million (USD) with a
C sequestration rate of 1.11 t/ha/yr[16]. The rate of C sequestration in forest species was estimated at 1.24 t/ha and
0.027 t/ha by Ephedra sp and Amygdaluslycioides respectively. In addition the economic value of CO2 absorption
was $455 (USD) for Amygdaluslycioides[17].The benefits of C storage and sequestration were estimated in terms of
monetary value, as well as the role of urban forests in offsetting C emissions from fossil fuel combustion. Results
showed that urban forests in areas within the third-ring road of Shenyang stored 337,000 t C (RMB92.02 million, or
$13.88 million), with a C sequestration rate of 29,000 t/yr (RMB7.88 million, or $1.19 million). The C stored in
urban forests equaled 3.02% of annual C emissions from fossil fuel combustion, and C sequestration could offset
0.26% of annual C emissions in Shenyang [13]. Humid regions there are a lot of decompose and C storage is low,
while in arid regions because of low decomposiotion, C storage is high. Thus these regions have a greate
importance.Iran is located in an arid and semi-arid climate zone. In comparison with other countries there are severe
constraints tothe density of vegetation and forest cover. However, diversity of the country’s resources should not be
neglected. Iran is an important country regarding plant genetic diversity. The largestareaofarid forestvegetation in
Iran is betweenthe Gulf ofOmanand thesouthern domains ofIranoAlborz, North East, and East, partsofthe
southeastand centralregionsofthecountry. In this zone, there are two main forest species in mountains that exist on a
large scale,Pistachioatlantica and Amygdalusscoparia.Significance of these species within an ecosystem.
Furthermore, introduction of the economic value of carbon sequestration and CO2 uptake can demonstrate the
importance of these trees and shrubs to encourage their proper management and to preserve their existence within an


Study area
The study was conducted on Pistaciaatlantica and Amygdalusscoparia in the Firouzabad Forest Research (29̊ to 29̊
15΄ N , 52̊ 30΄ to 52̊ 40΄E) Maximum and minimum altitudes were 2350 m and 1700 m a.s.l. respectively, with an
average altitude of 2025 m. The study area bordered Zanjiran Village to the north, Shurab to the East and the
western border was north of Shiraz (Firouzabad Main Road). The average annual rainfall in the forest was about
559/2 mm. Maximum and minimum temperatures were 42 ° C and -15 ° C, respectively. The evaporation rate was
between 2474 to 3082 mm per annum. Its climate was semi-arid and cold semi-humid. The study area had an area of
9374 ha and the following species covered the mountains and foothills; Pistachio atlantica, Amygdalus scoparia,
Amygdalusl ycidios, Pistachio khinjuk Amygdalus haussknechtii, Amygdalus ebornea, Amygdalus Lycioides,
Amygdalus eleagnifolia, Acer monspessulanum, and Amygdalus scoparia.

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RoustaTouba et al Euro. J. Exp. Bio., 2013, 3(3):443-449

Fig 1 Location of the study area in the Fars province and Iran

iomass estimating method

Carbon sequestration in Pistachioatlantica
Systematic_random sampling was done to determine the number of Pistachio atlantic a trees using the inventory
network with 1000x 400meters and plots of 2000 m2.

Considering the sample statistics and status distribution of diameter classes of trees, three trees were randomly
selected from each diameter class and tree characteristics were measured (diameter at breast height (dbh) and

Tree parts were taken (in accordance with thelogging embargo), at an eighth or a quarter to determine the wet
weight of different tree components (leaves, branches and trunks) [1, 19, 15.]

Carbonstorage in Amygdalusscoparia
Inventory sampling – systematic network was used (1000 × 400 m) and 1000 m2 to determine the number of shrubs
in classes of crowndiameter. According to statistics results of the sampling and distribution of crown diameter, three
shrubs were randomly selected for each of the 5 categories (0-1, 1-2, 2-3, 3-4 and 4-5) and they were measured for
crown diameter (small and large diameter) then wet weights were measured for each sample.

Estimating organic carbon in root and litter

30 plots of 1m2 were established under trees to calculate the organic carbon content ofleaf litter. Samples of leaf
litter from these plots were collected and carried to the laboratory [14]. As direct sampling of roots is expensive and
destructive, root biomass was calculated using function (1) (Hernandez & et al., 2004).

(1) Belowground biomass = 0.2 Aboveground Biomass

Conversion ratiocalculation
To determine the conversion ratioof wet weight to organic carbon in different organs, three separate samples were
cut and transferred to the laboratory. Samples were burnt in an electric furnace at a temperature of 375 C̊ for 24
hours[23]. Then ash weight was measured.

Using previous weight measurements and ratio of organic carbon to organic material (function 2), tree organ
conversion ratioswere calculated separately [2, 4, 23].
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RoustaTouba et al Euro. J. Exp. Bio., 2013, 3(3):443-449

(2) Organic carbon = ½organic material

To estimate amounts of carbon sequestration in the soil, 4 samples from each of the four corners of micro-plots(5 x 5
meters) were taken. Plots were selected from different areas of the forest, in different geographical locations and
altitudes (to consider crown affect, samples were taken from under the crown and outside it).

Samples were then mixed. In total, 15 soil samples were taken and after drying without exposure to sunlight they
were transported to the laboratory.

Amounts of organic carbon were calculated using the Walky-Black method in a laboratory. Finally, amounts of
carbon sequestration in soil were estimated with formula (3) [4, 23].

(3) OC= 10000 × % OC × E ×Bd

That OC is organic carbonand Bd is bulk density

EXCEL software as a database and SPSS software were used for data analysis.

Economic evaluation
To evaluate carbon sequestration thefollowingfunction was used:

Ve = Fe × Pc

Fe is the total amount of carbon sequestration in Pistachio, Amygdalus and soil (tons).Pc is carbon tax, which is
calculated based on the average rate per ton for tax on carbon dioxide emissions based on studies in Iran and other

In this study, carbon tax or the cost method of carbon emissions (carbon emissions taxes) was used. This method
avoids damage costs and uses cost values applied to prevent injury and damage as a criterion for the benefits
provided by an ecosystem.

Carbon tax rates in different countries were used to determine carbon tax rates for Iran. The average of carbon taxes
calculated was $ 61 (USD).


Carbon stocks estimation in
Pistachio atlantica.
Table 1 shows the Conversion coefficient for Pistachio component for components of Pistachio atlantica.

Table 1 Conversion coefficient for Pistachio component

Organ Trunk Shoot Leaf literate Root
Conversion coefficient 31.7 32.9 18.1 39.1 28.9

Base on table 1 conversion coefficientis at least in leaf and is most for literate

Table 2 amount of organic carbon and carbon dioxide uptake in different parts of Pistachio and soil

Trunk Shoot Leaf Root Literate Total Soil Total soil & Vegetation
Organic carbon (ton/ha) 1.05 0.521 0.026 0.27 0.0012 1.87 12.78 14.65
Organic carbon in total (ton) 9842.7 4883.85 243.72 2530.98 11.9 17529.38 119799.1 137329.1
CO2 absorption (ton/ha) 3.85 1.91 0.095 0.99 0.0044 6.86 47 53.76
CO2 absorption in total (ton) 36118.02 17904.34 890.53 9280.26 41.24 64305.64 440578 503946.2

Table 3 Duncan test results for comparing the carbon stored in various organs such luggage in forest research Firouzabad

Organ Reservation carbon weight average Class

Trunk 183.8 a
Shoot 74.22 b
Leaf 3.77 c
Root 42.88 bc

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RoustaTouba et al Euro. J. Exp. Bio., 2013, 3(3):443-449
Analysis of variance was done between Pistachio components to compare amounts ofcarbon sequestration
separately for leaf, branch, trunk and root (results are shown in Tables 3 and 4).
Table4 MeanVarianceAnalysisof carbonstorageinvariousorgansin Pistachio atlanticaFirouzabad Forest Research

Sum of Squares Mean Square df F

Between Groups 807159.888 269053.296 3 28.064
Within Groups 1687357.535 9587.259 176
Total 2494517.423 179
Sig: 99%

Carbon Sequestration estimation in Amygdalusscoparia

Table 5 Conversion ratio (percentage), the amount of organic carbon storage and carbon dioxide absorption inAmygdalus

Conversion coefficient 7
Organic carbon (kg/ha) 0.0575
Organic carbon in total (kg) 539.005
CO2 absorption (ton/ha) 0.211
Total of CO2 absorption (ton) 1977.9

Table 6 shows Duncan test results for the mean carbon storage comparison inthe crown diameter in
Table 6 Analysis of variance of carbon storage in Amygdalusscoparia in study area

Sum of Squares Mean Square df F sig

Between Groups 2.097 0.524 4 10.786 0.000
Within Groups 0.488 0.094 10
Total 2.583 14

Table 7 Duncan test results for comparing the carbon stored in Amygdalusscoparia in Firouzabad Forest Research

Crown diameter classes Mean Carbon sequestration Class

<1 0.665 a
1-2 0.875 a
2-3 1.39 b
3-4 1.4 b
4< 1.68 b

Percentage of organic carbon in Pistachio atlantica, Amygdalus scoparia and soil are showed in figure 1.

Figure 2 Percentage of organic carbon in Pistachio atlantica, Amygdalus scoparia and soil Economic value of Carbon Sequestration

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RoustaTouba et al Euro. J. Exp. Bio., 2013, 3(3):443-449
Table 8: Economical value of carbon sequestration in different parts of the forest

object CO2 uptake (ton/ha) Economic value ($)

Pistaciaatlantica. 6.86 418.46
Amygdalusscoparia 0.211 12.871
Soil 47 2867
total 54.071 3298.331


In this research, we considered to estimate amounts of carbon sequestration and the economic value that can be
placed on an environment. The amount of carbon sequestration in soil and vegetation was 14.65 ton/ha. The amount
of carbon sequestration in the total forest stand was 137329.1 ton. The percentage of C sequestration in the soil
washigh, approximately 87%, because it was an old forest standC storage is accumulated in these years in soil.C
sequestration in Pistachio sp. was low (13%) because species density waslow. The economic value of C
sequestration was $418.46 (USD) and $12.871 (USD) in each hectare for Pistachio atlantica and
Amygdalusscoparia respectively.Results show that the C storage inPistachio atlantica is very important and because
of existence of old trees so these species must be protected and not be cutted.Amounts of carbon sequestration will
increase by conservation by increasingdensity of Pistacioatlantica. The area of this forest is considerable, therefore
an area could be designated for this purpose and a higher-level of carbon sequestration could be facilitated. The
amount of C sequestration and its economic value in the soil were calculated 12.78 t/ha and $ 835.812 (USD)
respectively. Therefore anincrease of C sequestration in a dry ecosystem would be beneficial in economic and
environmental terms. Decision making for more efficient for land use and conservation can be made more effective
with consideration of a forest’s economic value that exists as a free resource for humans.There are factors such
erosion caused by overflow from seasonal rains and firethat contribute to depletion of organic C and CO2 contents
in forests. These factors need consideration in further research to address associated problems that may confound
attempts to raise levels of carbon sequestration in these ecosystems. The site of this research was in the semi-
aridregion of Iran. Research on such a site is useful because activities that cause C emissions are less than that of
other sites therefore afforestation and reforestation are very important in these regions.


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